Thursday, June 25, 2020

Storm Eagle for 30k Space Wolves

Storm Eagle gunship ready to fly in support of the VI Legion on the tabletop.
The skies of the real world today might be mostly empty, but the skies of our Horus Heresy are getting little crowded! Here is a Storm Eagle gunship painted in the colours of the VI Space Marine Legion, the Vylka Fenryka - the "Space Wolves". The model kit and decals are from Forge World.

View of the top, showing a crew access hatch, and the rocket launchers (not sure how those get to ground targets, but it's 30k, let's not worry over such things).
As you can likely tell from even a casual perusal of this blog, I am rather passionate about GW's Horus Heresy setting. This leads to the accumulation of more models than I can paint at a given time period, and thus an accumulation of what I like to refer to "pending projects" (makes it sound more organized, less nutty). This model is one such "pending project" fact, it was "pending" for well over a year, almost two!

View from the front - twin heavy bolters, ready for strafing - and there is also an access ramp in the nose.
Twin lascannons under each wing.
It's a little precarious up on that flight stand...
Why did it take so long to paint this? Well, all the usual excuses apply...when I paint 30k, I paint tons of it, but then when my hobby-squirrel brain chases other interests (like the Franco-Prussian war, to name a recent example), the 30k stuff waits. But there was something else...this kit is a healthy size, and it was kind of intimidating to consider painting. I procrastinated and made up excuses, worked on other projects etc. while this model, primed and ready, waited amid the "pending projects".

There was an option to mount multi-meltas, but I just didn't see those as "strafing" weapons, and opted for the heavy bolters instead.

Close up of one of the twin-lascannon mounts under the wings.
Enter Dallas, and the wonders of collection escalation! When Dallas sets his mind to a project, he is often quite decisive about it. Earlier this year, he talked about how cool a Storm Eagle would be. He got one. And then he built it, and painted it - and it looks bloody fantastic! I told him if he painted his gunship, it would inspire me to finish one too - and it has! Seeing his awesome IV Legion gunship, I decided to get moving and paint one up for the loyalist side. Since I have been painting a lot of Space Wolves for 30k lately, I opted to paint one for The Rout.

One of the side access hatches.

Main access ramp for troops and cargo is at the back.
As Dallas mentioned in his recent post, these Storm Eagle models have a well-deserved reputation for "being difficult" to assemble. Certainly, it was utterly beyond my skills, and thus I turned to local hobbyist Steve B for assistance - as has been the case with so many vehicles and kits in my 30k collection, Steve was an absolute genius at getting the model assembled and ready to go. He had to put up with numerous issues assembling the model - "green stuff" and card and other things were required in order to make them work.

This is always disappointing to see with such an expensive model kit, but this is par for the course with Forge World kits (not all of them, of course, but enough of them). Certainly I was fortunate that Steve helped with the assembly - I could not have built it properly myself...

A look at some of the decals on the wings...

Another partial profile view of the main body of the craft.
Painting was straightforward, in that I pretty much followed the same steps I use to paint an individual space marine - but of course the size of the model made the process more involved, and it took several days.

I painted the pilot and the cockpit, and then painted the cockpit cover separately, before adding the plastic canpoy. Unfortunately the spars that should go over the canopy to help hold it in place were not packed in the kit properly - there were two for the left side. So I just left them off - they are not strictly necessary.

The base coat was "Mechanicus Standard Grey", followed by a layer of "Dawnstone", a recess wash of "Agrax Earthshade" and edge highlighting of "Administratum Grey". The red is "Khorne Red", edge chipped with "Mephiston Red". I sponge-chipped the whole thing with "Eshin Grey", then went to work on the various lenses, metallics etc. There were a few spots where I was able to make use of GW's new Contrast Paint range...usually on metallic components, a good way to give a bit of colour and/or shade - especially for the buttons on the cockpit controls etc.

WIP,early stages, some base grey and metal paints on the model.

Another WIP photo...this was the 50% done stage...
The decals come from Forge World's awesome legion-specific decal sheet range. These decals are pricey, yes, but they are more than worth it, providing a healthy supply of varied and cool decals. I tried to make the best use of them I could on this model. 

This beast will carry the warriors of The Rout into battle in style, conveying them safely to a hot LZ and then sticking around to provide some fire support. With lascannons, heavy bolters and missiles, the Storm Eagle will bring the vengeance of the Vylka Fenryka to a 30k tabletop sometime least, I hope it will be sometime soon - our common lament. When the time comes, I have a feeling we will be playing a HUGE game of Horus Heresy...but until then, we can all stay safe and keep painting.

VI Legion models give a sense of the size...certainly this is no Thunderhawk, but it's a big model.
A big thanks again to Steve B - I hope he's happy to see this finally painted! A big thank you also to Dallas for the inspiration and collection escalation, and to the Fawcett gang in general for their energetic embrace of the setting. I remember when I first started the Horus Heresy in 28mm back in 2014, I figured that "it would just be a few models" and that the game would be something niche that I would run from time to time. Instead, Byron, Dallas, Mike and others have all jumped in, and 30k games have been fairly regular occurances...between us we have significant forces we can put on the table for something like ten or eleven of the different Space Marine legions, as well as the Mechanicum and even the Solar Auxilia. We have heretical billboards and Walls of Terra for terrain. The games have all been amazing. Crazy stuff! Anyway, thanks for reading, be safe!

PS - I still have another one of these models to go! We'll see which Legion gets that one... 


MFraser said...

Wow! The air war is really heating up!

joe5mc said...

Looks gorgeous!

Dallas said...

The skies are getting friendlier all the time. Awesome job on this Storm Eagle dude!

Curt said...

Fabulous work Greg! I think it's cool that you did it in Space Wolf livery.